Camp Conowingo in Cecil County had been a well-loved destination for countless Maryland girl scouts when financial pressure forced the scouting organization to consider selling the land-a concern for generations of residents who cherished fond memories of summer camp. The property's forests and Conowingo Creek-a tributary of Susquehanna River, designated American Rivers' most endangered river -also made its protection a priority for the state's Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which approached The Trust for Public Land to help find a solution.
In July 2011 the summer season was just heating up when TPL joined Maryland's DNR and the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland to announce the camp's permanent protection. The State purchased a conservation easement over approximately 577 acres of the camp, restricting future development of the site to safeguard the forest and water resources while allowing the Girl Scouts' recreational and educational programs to continue uninterrupted.
The easement is part of an ongoing effort to protect Maryland's major rivers and streams that are critical to the health of the Chesapeake Bay and the state's quality of life. And something that is giving campers a lot to be happy about for this and many summers to come.